Reversing the Numbness

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

Here's an interesting topic: songs you think could start movies.

If you link it, they will come.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


As my friend and co-worker Keith and I were flying back from Portland last night, we heard a terrible sound. I immediately knew something was wrong, and I looked up and saw an elderly gentleman a few rows up and on the other side of the plane having what appeared to be an intense seizure. I still remember the exact sound he was making. The airline hostesses reacted quickly, and within moments one of them said over the speakers: "Is there a medical person on board? We have a passenger who is having a stroke." (This on-the-fly diagnosis surprised me, and in retrospect I think she must have meant seizure.)

Soon a doctor from first-class and a couple nurses from coach appeared and went to work. Their presence made me feel a little better. The doctor barked out orders from the start: "Get out of my way" she said to someone who was tending to Joe (that was his name) before she got there. "Get me blood-pressure cuff!" She then started talking to Joe, who was obviously still in a very bad way, and she continued to try to get him to acknowledge her for what seemed like 15 minutes. "Joe? Joe? Can you hear me, Joe? Stay with me, Joe, you're going to be okay!" It didn't seem to me like anything was getting better. Joe wasn't in seizure anymore, but he also wasn't responding. To be honest, I thought he was dying, and I know I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Especially after I heard the doctor say, "He's not going to make it," though we think now she meant he wasn't going to make it all the way to Pittsburgh.

Maybe the worst thing of all was that the only person Joe was traveling with was his young grandson -- he was probably 12 or 13 -- who was seated beside him at the window. He was right there for all of this, trapped in what was probably the scariest experience of his life. I sat in my seat hoping with everything I had. I actually tried to mentally connect with Joe, to talk him into coming back. This was no place to die, and it was certainly no place to watch your grandpa die. Come on back, Joe. You don't want it to happen here.

Then a bit later he started to come around. I could tell he was eking out responses to the doctor's questions. Soon I saw the doctor raise his arms above his head, and he actually held them up for a second. This was the moment when I though he would make it. He started to respond even more, and the doctor's demeanor relaxed, which was another good sign. That's when the decision was made to land in Chicago so Joe could get more help. Keith and I were both surprised that the decision hadn't been made earlier, as this whole scenario seemed to last well over 30 minutes. Maybe my judgment is off there, but if it is, it's not by much.

So the doctor sat in the aisle seat beside Joe and the plane banked hard and descended more rapidly than any large aircraft I've ever been on. It didn't seem reckless, necessarily, but it was pretty intense, especially after the experience everyone had just had. Keith wondered if this is the type of situation a commercial pilot lives for.

We landed and obviously taxied immediately to a gate, and an emergency crew was on board in a flash. That's when the best thing of all happened -- Joe weakly stood and took a step to the waiting wheelchair. If you'd asked me 30 minutes before, I would have guessed he was done for, and here he was getting to the chair on his own. His grandson followed, obviously shaken, and they vanished out the door and I assume to the extended hope of a hospital. A hospital that seemed impossibly far away just minutes before. The airline had some paperwork to process, and relatively soon we were back in the air, on our way to Pittsburgh. We got back to Morgantown around 2 a.m.

So that's all we know about Joe. Keith tried doing a search today to find more information on him, to no avail. I'd like to think he's doing fine now. He's a pretty old guy, and he's not going to live forever, but at least he made it through this one. Attaboy, Joe.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

But I'll be on a plane to Portland, Oregon, so I've asked my blog buddy Helen Mansfield to fill in for me this week, and she's graciously accepted. Here's a note from Helen:

This Friday, I am asking readers to build their own super group, as I did on this old post.

Doesn't matter if members are living or dead, gather your dream together.

Think Judy Garland should be lead singer for The Buggles? Cool, but give me some links so we can all get an idea of what they would sound like.

Also, give me a short play list of what you think your super group would perform.

Wow, Helen Mansfield is taking Friday Music to a whole ... nuvva ... level. It'll be interesting to see what everyone comes up with for this.

Link and let link, I always say. Link and let link.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

This week's topic is: goodbye.

Everyone is encouraged to post music suggestions that somehow fit this category. Please include links to your suggestions.

We'll be on a family vacation starting this weekend, so I'm not sure when I'll post comments on the suggestions, but I will at some point.

I'll start with this classic:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Friday Music

It's Friday. I need music.

Only it's Wednesday. But Friday is a holiday and most people probably won't be near a computer, so we're doing Friday Music on Thursday. Got it? Great.

My buddy Crusseldrums and his wife are expecting their second son any day now, so in honor of their growing family, this week's topic is: children.

Remember, it's linkin' park up in this joint. If you don't know how to make text into a link, just paste the URL after the suggestion.

We start with a rock anthem for the ages.